Thursday, November 24, 2011

Samhain 2011

As is our tradition, we held Samhain under the U.A.O.D Druid monument in Forest Home cemetery in Forest Park. The weather is always a bit of a gamble this time of year and there have been some very coooold Samhain celebrations but this year the weather was mild but very windy! The altar objects were arranged not as much for their aesthetics but as a way to anchor the altar cloth and lighter items! (and I brought far too many things for the altar anyway which I suppose was fortuitous as they made handy paperweights if nothing else!)

The Deity of the Occasion was Pwyll Pen Annwfn and the Blessed Ancestors. Since this was a sort of Welsh rite, we had Manawydan fab Llŷr as the Gatekeeper, and Taliesin for Bardic inspiration. Again we used the Triple Triads to invoke the Ancestors, Nature Spirits and Shining Ones. The main aspect of the rite was honoring the Ancestors and so Colleen honored her Grandfather with appropriate offerings, I offered some McVitties that Jack and Chris brought me, and others told stories or made offerings for their ancestors. Colleen sang The Reaper and the Flowers which is something of a Samhain tradition. We read our Ancestor Prayer and offered whiskey, ale, apples, hazelnuts, and of course our food donations.

Colleen  sacrificed some Whiskey and cookies to Pwyll and Janet and I took the Omen and the sacrifice was accepted. Chris then asked for blessings and we shared sesame cookies and ale. For the takeaway, Jack made some Ancestor Triptychs printed on vellum for people to record their own ancestor and place on their shrines. He chose vellum so people could place photographs and such behind the triptych so they would show through. (Anyone who missed the rite can print out their own copy if they like.) Towards the end the wind was really picking up (a branch fell off a tree right near us!) so we hastily made out farewells and packed up before we blew away. We reconvened at Khyber Pass in Oak Park to feast with delicious Indian Food and warm companionship with friends old and new. All in all the rite went well despite the wind, I'm still not convinced we shouldn't do Samhain indoors but so far I have been outvoted. Yule of course will be indoors at LFACs new location, which is much smaller than the old space but the parking is free on Sundays!  Yule is now going to be at a private residence so please RSVP for directions if you are planning on going! The rite will be dedicated to Odin and there will be a potluck afterwards so bring something yummy to share! Highlights will include a Chicago Wassail, Yulekake, and of course Runes!

The other important news is that we have a new phone number (312) 489-8610, which we figured we needed so people can get a hold of us if they get lost or just want to talk to an actual person about the Grove, events etc (or when Caroline messes up.)  Also due to the fact that December is usually a crazy time even for Pagans we will resume working with the Forest Preserve in January, there might also be some blanket making in our future as well....

Blessings on you and yours and Happy Thanksgiving!
Your humble Scribe, Wild Onion Grove ADF